Written by Emma Grosskopf
Emma Grosskopf: Joel Bowers, the man, the myth the legend. You seem to have a pretty unique sense of style. How would you describe that style?
Joel Bowers: I consider myself to be eclectic. I tend to combine a lot of different styles, and I like to draw from my redneck roots. I can’t afford to have celebrity style, but I definitely admire Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen.
EG: Do you consider yourself to be “open” with your sexuality?
JB: Oh, very open. I’m not afraid to show who I am. I’m very comfortable with myself, so therefore I don’t need to hide anything. At the same time, I’m not trying to put on a front or, as some people say, “shove it down their throats.” I’m simply being me.
EG: What kind of atmosphere exists for people on campus that don’t quite fit into the RC “mold?”
JB: I have always felt like I fit in, and I know I’m, as previously said, an eclectic person. I know of people who have struggled to fit in here, but those cases seem to be few and far between.
EG: What do you think is the “norm” on campus, in general terms?
JB: Wealthy white people! Vineyard Vines comes to mind. A LOT of Greek paraphernalia. Everybody seems either really short or really tall!
EG: What role do you think Greek Life plays in the creation of the “norm” on campus?
JB: I came to RC with no understanding of the Greek Life, because I just wasn’t interested, and I came in for academics but I soon found out that lots of stuff on campus is very Greek-oriented, so I can see that as being maybe a deterrent from people who might not fit in with the typical frat or sorority image.
EG: Do you think that your sexual openness affects the way that strangers on campus see you?
JB: The way I am? Definitely the clothes I wear! I wear shorts that are a lot shorter than the shorts most men here do (I mean, they are women’s shorts!) I notice lots of double takes, but rarely something mean or hateful. That has happened once or twice, but you know, you’re going to get that everywhere in life. Not everyone is always going to like you, so eff them!
EG: What do you think is the role of hookup apps such as Tinder and Grindr to RC hookup culture?
JB: There are many more people on this campus who are on Tinder than Grindr, probably because Grindr is an aggressive app. It’s pretty much 95% hookups, and 5% “other.” People usually gravitate towards tinder if they’re looking for their college fling, and Grindr if they’re looking for a quick fix.
EG: What do you think is the attitude on campus toward sex in general?
JB: I think that we are a very sex-positive and promiscuous school, personally. I think that people both express their sexuality. Women are more free to wear what they want, and men to express themselves to a certain degree, although that seems to be lacking a little bit. I do think that it seems like everyone is hooking up with everyone. We’re a tight commune and we like to interbreed. It’s a small campus.